Category Archives: Alumni

Making a Difference in Motor City: Alternative Spring Break

Michigan Tech Alumnus Bruce Brunson during NSBE Alternative Spring Break in Detroit last year. Brunson earned BS degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in 2018. He now works as an associate design engineer for Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio.

While some students travel for adventure during spring break, others travel for the greater good. The Michigan Tech Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will head to Motor City to spread the message of STEM.

Ten Michigan Tech engineering students will visit six middle and high schools to encourage students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers as part of the chapter’s 8th Annual NSBE Alternative Spring Break trip to Detroit from March 11-13, 2019.

During the school day, the Michigan Tech students will make classroom presentations to middle and high school students encouraging them to continue their education after high school, consider going to college or community college, and choose a STEM career path. The NSBE students will also conduct evening Family Engineering events at three K-8 schools.

The goal of the NSBE classroom presentations and Family Engineering events are to engage, inspire, and encourage diverse students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities. These programs are designed to address our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in STEM (math, science, technology, and engineering).

NSBE School Presentation Schedule ~ Monday-Wed, March 11-13, 2019
Morning High School Classroom Presentations (first 3 periods):
  • Western International High School
  • Communications and Media Arts HS
  • Ben Carson High School
Afternoon Middle School Classroom Presentations (2 periods after lunch) and K-8 Family Engineering Nights (3-5 pm):
  • Ronald Brown Academy
  • Thurgood Marshall K-8 School
  • Clippert Academy
This outreach effort is funded by General Motors, and the Michigan Tech Office of Admissions and College of Engineering, in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.
High school students at these schools will also be encouraged to apply to participate in a 6-day Engineering & Environmental Science Exploration at Michigan Tech from July 20-27, or a 5-day Summer STEM Internship at Michigan Tech from July 15-19. Each participating student will be supported by a $700 scholarship. Application information is available here.
For many other students at Michigan Tech, For Michigan Tech students, spring break is a time to take the dedication, innovation and tenacity they bring to the classroom to a different venue. Read more about the wide range of alternative spring breaks taking place this year.

Safe Winter Roads, Explained by a Michigan Tech Snow Scientist

It’s the first week of March and so far we’ve had 175 inches of snow in Houghton County, with another couple of feet expected before the spring thaw. Despite all the snow, we manage to get around pretty well (most of the time). Snow scientist Russ Alger ’80, ’81 explains just what goes into the UP’s ‘secret sauce’ for safe winter roads.

Russ Alger, Chief Snow Scientist, Keweenaw Research Center

Russ Alger knows about snow. The head of Michigan Tech’s Institute of Snow Research is one of the world’s go-to guys for research on cold climate driving issues, with more than 25 years of experience and counting. Since earning his BS and MS in Civil and Environmental engineering Michigan Tech, Alger has developed a snow grader that can “pave” snow trails in Antarctica, and a product called SafeLane, an epoxy-aggregate mixture that is applied to roads, bridge decks, walkways and parking lots to give the surfaces better traction by reducing snow and ice. SafeLane is now marketed by Cargill and used widely, saving untold lives.

You are a snow scientist. How did you come to choose this path, or did it choose you?  My father, George Alger, was a civil engineering professor at Michigan Tech for many years. His expertise was in ice-covered rivers and cold regions engineering in general. Growing up in Dollar Bay and working with him on outdoor projects, as well as being an outdoorsman myself, pointed me down that path at a young age.  In 1976, my Dad, along with Michigan Tech civil engineering professors Ralph Hodek and Henry Sanford established a curriculum on Cold Regions Engineering. I started with them that very first year.

Are there best practices for using salt on roadways in winter? Road supervisors and crews rely heavily on the weather forecast.  Air temp, pavement temp, temperature trends, precipitation rates and total amounts, wind, time of day, and more all play into the decision making process. For example, if it is going to be below 15o F, it is likely that crews would consider adding something like calcium chloride to the mix since it is better at colder temps. They might just use sodium chloride above that temp since it works well and is much cheaper.  The amount of deicer needed also increases as temperature decreases and there is a point where it doesn’t pay to use deicer at all except for maybe as a “kicker” for sand applications.

Combining salt and stamp sands seems to work pretty well to help us get around amid all the snowfall here in the UP.  What all goes into it? Each maintenance entity uses a sand that is easiest in their operation. It depends on availability, and cost—where cost is actual material cost and transportation to the central staging areas. As it turns out, in most of Houghton County, stamp sand is used. It’s abundant, and the County owns some stamp sand property. On top of that, stamp sand is actually a pretty good ‘grit’ for this purpose. The grain size is right to result in traction, which is the purpose of sand. It isn’t too dusty, and most importantly, it is crushed rock, so it is angular. That means it has sharp edges that help it dig into icy pavements and grip tires. The addition of a small amount of deicer, mainly NaCl and CaCl2 liquid helps the sand piles from freezing up, but is also very effective at helping the sand particles to stick on the ice surface. A small amount of deicer makes the sand particles melt into the surface and stick, making a layer that acts like a piece of sand paper. This is a pretty effective way to increase grip of tires on the surface, which is the end goal of this operation.

 “Winter road maintenance is a science in itself, a very complicated undertaking. Each geographic location has its own challenges and ways of doing things that have evolved over the years. That said, there really is no miracle method.”

Are any elements of winter road prep unique to this area? As you drive across the UP and into Wisconsin and Lower Michigan it is evident that each entity has its own way of doing things.  Driving west through Twin Lakes and into Ontonagon County this is also quite evident. Each group has its own way of using deicers and each has a unique type of friction course (sand) that they use. The northern UP is also quite unique, as we get so much snow. Heavy snow areas are sometimes difficult areas in which to use deicers, since it takes so much chemical to keep up with the amounts of snow.

Within Houghton County a number of different entities perform our snow removal operations. MDOT takes care of the State and Federal trunklines, Houghton County takes care of all secondary roads, and some of the larger cities in the area take care of their own streets. Each of these entities have their own way of doing things. In fact, across the UP, there are counties that even take care of their own State and Federal Roads. There are some major difference in operations as you drive across the UP in a storm event.

Do you see any room for improvement?  There are always ways to improve, but in my experience traveling across the US and Canada through numerous storm events, our local entities have gotten really good at dealing with the extreme amounts of snow that we get. It always amazes me how well we can move around the Copper Country during and very shortly after a snow event. Hats off!!

Why does it seem that so many places elsewhere in the country are unprepared and shut down when even a few inches of snow falls? In areas that don’t get much snow, and not very often, it is hard to justify spending a lot on winter equipment and supplies. That has been a big problem this year since so much of the country is getting record snows.  On the other side of the coin, some areas, including some wealthier Detroit suburbs, the public has pushed for roads to be bare pavement at all times. These areas spend a lot of money on snow removal.

Could our method(s) be replicated and shared with other cities and towns? As researchers we always want to share or work and ideas with others. I’ve done a lot of deicer research over the years, some of which is public domain and some is for private companies.  We have also done a lot of work on methods over the years such as when to put deicers out, how to put them out, how much, how often, how to predict, and more.

 


Charitable Lead Trust — How I Give

Judy and Gary Anderson ’67

“I believe that a great education is the foundation for a great career. I was fortunate to have both.” —Gary Anderson ‘67

I believe that a great education is the foundation for a great career. I was fortunate to have both.

Growing up in Ishpeming in the 1950s, I saw firsthand what hard work looked like. My father had to quit school to work in the mines at age 15 to support the family after my grandfather was killed in a mining accident. Both my father and mother stressed the importance of getting an education. They wanted me to have a better life and sacrificed financially to send me to college.

Michigan Tech proved to be tough, but I welcomed the rigor. It hardened and sharpened me to be able to compete in the global marketplace. I graduated in 1967 with a degree in chemical engineering. I joined Dow Corning and spent my entire career there, eventually becoming CEO and Chairman before retiring in 2004. I’m proud to say our firm grew 50-fold and became recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 companies to work for.

Looking back on my career, I realize the value of my education and the role Michigan Tech played in my development. My wife, Judy, and I wanted to help today’s youth achieve their potential as well. We set up a charitable lead trust. It’s a great tool we are able to use to support Tech and several other of our favorite charities for a 10-year period with the residual trust value going to our children in the future. The trust allows us to see the impact of our annual gifts now while we are alive, as well as reducing taxes on the remaining assets that will go to our family in the future.

I’m happy to say we’ve been able to start the Anderson Family Scholarships for students from Ishpeming and Westwood High Schools as well as a student research fund in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Judy and I believe, just as my parents did, in the importance of a great education. We are thrilled to be able to help others improve their lives through education, and encourage others to do the same.

A charitable lead trust is an irrevocable trust designed to provide financial support to one or more charities for a period of time, with the remaining assets eventually going to family members or other beneficiaries. For more information on lead trusts or other planned giving options, visit www.mtu.legacy.org or email giftplan@mtu.edu.

 


Bryant Weathers New CoE Director of Advancement

Bryant Weathers
Bryant Weathers

The College of Engineering welcomes Bryant Weathers to the dean’s office staff as director of advancement. As advancement liaison for the eight departments within the College of Engineering, Weathers’ primary role will be to connect alumni and friends in furthering Michigan Tech’s mission and programs, while achieving individual charitable goals in a variety of ways.

His previous experience at Michigan Tech includes advancement officer and gift planning and donor communications specialist in the Office of Advancement. Weathers is an alumnus, and earned his BS in Science and Technical Communication in 2010.


Engineering Alumni Activity Spring 2019

Megan Krieger
Megan Krieger

Michigan Tech alumna Megan Krieger ’09, was featured in several articles nation wide. Krieger, a mechanical engineer in the U.S. Army, led a team that 3D printed a 32-foot-long reinforced concrete footbridge. Kreiger, who lives in Champaign, Illinois, became aware of 3D as a graduate student at Michigan Tech. The story was covered by Engineering News-Record3Dprint.com and 3Ders.org. She became aware of 3D printing at Michigan Tech, where she ran the 3D printing lab during graduate studies in material science and engineering. She joined the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in February 2015.

Jeff Stauffer
Jeff Stauffer

Michigan Tech alumnus Jeff Stauffer ’93, has been named a regional Utility Sales Director for Boarder States Electric. At Michigan Tech, Stauffer earned degrees in electrical engineering and business administration and served as the business manager for the Lode student newspaper. The story was covered in TED Magazine.

John O. Hallquist
John O. Hallquist

Michigan Tech alumnus John Hallquist, who received a master’s and PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 1971 and 1974 respectively, was featured in the article “John O. Hallquist, Ph.D., Celebrated for Innovations in Software Development,” in Business News Articlesand 24-7 press release.com. Hallquist was responsible for founding the Livermore Software Technology Corporation.

Kirk Fauri
Kirk Fauri

RS&H Vice President and Texas CEI Leader Kirk Fauri ’03 has been named to ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 20 Under 40 list, a recognition of the region’s top young professionals. Fauri holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech. He serves as the prime CEI consultant with TxDOT in 10 districts and four regional mobility authorities.

Mike Paddock
Mike Paddock

Mike Paddock ’87 volunteered with Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) to support volcano recovery in Guatemala. Mike, a 15-year veteran of EWB-USA, has spent the better part of six months in Guatemala responding to the Volcano Fuego disaster. He has a passion for Guatemala, and has contributed to the building of dozens of bridges, roads, schools and wastewater projects throughout the country, although volcano response is new territory for both Mike and EWB-USA. Paddock holds BS degrees in Surveying and Civil Engineering.


Embracing the Pioneering Research Spirit of Nancy Scofield

The late Michigan Tech Pres. Emeritus Ray Smith presents a diploma to Dr. Nancy Scofield, the first female to be granted a doctoral degree at Michigan Tech, in 1977.
Nancy Scofield

Nancy Scofield was the first female to earn a doctoral degree at Michigan Tech. Dr. Scofield earned a PhD in Geology in 1977, studying copper redistribution in Portage Lake basalts. She reevaluated what was commonly believed in order to better understand the nature of the ore deposits.

Dr. Scofield passed away in 2003. The Nancy Scofield Pioneering Research Award is given annually to a graduate student whose dissertation work expands the boundaries of doctoral research in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

Past recipients are:

Emily Gochis—a PhD candidate in geology conducting research on innovative methods to improve geoscience literacy in pre-college students through professional development with their teachers and conceiving lessons around important geological features of their local area.

Marine Foucher—recently completed her PhD in geophysics. She conducted research on the paleomagnetic history of Precambrian rock formations in the UP, Canada, and China.

Priscilla Addison—a PhD candidate in geological engineering. She is using remote sensing to study permafrost thawing and the hazards it poses to transportation assets.

“Recipients of this award embrace the pioneering research spirit of Nancy Scofield,” says John Gierke, chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering at Sciences. “Their research is intellectually and physically challenging, and each recipient has demonstrated a high level of independence in their work, partly out of necessity since some aspects are outside the existing expertise in the department.”

Dr. Scofield’s doctoral advisor was then assistant professor William I. Rose. Bill is now retired but remains active in the department as a research professor. Nancy was his first PhD graduate.

Professor Emeritus Gordon Scofield, former chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics at Michigan Tech from 1969 to 1981, is Nancy Scofield’s husband. Gordon and Bill have shared their memories of Nancy from her graduate studies at Michigan Tech, as well as her professional work after graduating. 

 

Nancy Scofield at work using an electron probe

From Minneapolis to Manila

Minneapolis Alumni Gathering October 2018

Dean Callahan traveled across the globe in October to experience Michigan Tech alumni where they live and work. 

Starting in Minneapolis, the host city for this year’s Society of Women Engineers annual conference, over 60 Tech alumni came together to meet and share experiences. They were joined by 15 of our students who had traveled from Houghton to attend the conference. Discussions ranged from personal career journeys to interview tips, along with a mixture of stories about snow storms and snow statues, favorite professors, pizza at the Ambo, and more—a gathering that reconnected people and forged new bonds.

With a quick change of suitcase, and much anticipation, Dean Callahan boarded her flight for Shanghai, China where she was greeted by Peipei Zhao (MBA ’09). Peipei made certain Dean Callahan got to each and every one of her connections with alumni from Shanghai and surrounding cities, including 15 different alumni working in leadership roles or as founders of companies focused on a wide range of areas—from construction to global car manufacturing, world-wide suppliers of materials, software, autonomous enterprises, and more.

An evening gathering hosted by Chao-Zhuo Chen (Mining ’89) included 11 alumni, some reconnecting and others forming new connections and all with a common bond. Dinner talk included the tradition of smelt dipping, and the experiences of buried automobiles in snowy Houghton.

The next day, Dean Callahan traveled to Hong Kong to meet with another gracious alumnus, host Michael Cheung (BSEE ‘64), retired owner and CEO, Hingyu Metalworks, Ltd.—a company he transformed from a family enterprise to a global auto supplier after earning his degree. The following morning, Callahan met with one other alumnus, Mun Cheng “Anthony” Ng  (BSCE ‘99), and she ended with a tour of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology by Victor Flores Terrazas, (BSCE ‘10), a doctoral student.

It was then off to Manila where Dean Callahan led an international accreditation team for two engineering programs in the Phillipines.

After three weeks and over 17,000 miles, Dean Callahan returned to campus, energized from all the new Michigan Tech alumni connections and new friends, and just in time for our first foot of snow!

Jin Ren, Volvo, with Dean Callahan, and Peipei Zhao

 

Jin Ren, Hejia “Helga” Pan, and Dean Callahan

 

Dean Callahan meets with Michigan Tech alumni in Shanghai

 

Dean Callahan and David Chen

 

L to R: Shichang “Chung” Ma; David Guo; Dean Callahan; and Peipei Zhao

 

Victor Flores Terrazas, BSCE ‘10 greets Dean Callahan at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

 

Chao-Zhuo “Chao” Chen and Dean Callahan

 

Dean Callahan and Anthony Ng

 


Michigan Tech Students Attend WE18, the World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers

Michigan Tech students at WE18. Back row, left to right: Britta Jost, Natalie Green, Erica Coscarelli, Laura Schimmel, Emily Crombez, Melanie Zondag, Claire Langfoss, Noelle Eveland, Adedoyin Adedokun, Karina Eyre, Katie Buchalski. Front row: Romana Carden, Allison Dorn, Amber Ronsman, Josie Edick, Mackenzie Brunet, Lauren Sandy, Jessica Geroux, Gretchen Hein

Seventeen members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) went to the national conference, WE18, October 18-20 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Advisor Gretchen Hein (EF) accompanied the delegation of 13 undergraduates and four graduate students. Three students received travel scholarships: first-year chemical engineering student Josie Edick, second-year civil engineering student Amber Ronsman and Adedoyin Adedokun, a graduate student in electrical engineering. “Gaining close friendships with the other women in the Michigan Tech section was the best part about the conference for me,” Edick says. “I gained a ton of advice and insight, which made me very excited to get more involved in SWE back on campus.”

The WE18 conference was attended by more than 14,000 SWE members, both collegiate and professional, from across the nation, who enjoyed professional development breakout sessions, inspirational keynotes, a career fair and multiple opportunities for networking.

On the evening prior to the conference, the group attended a Michigan Tech alumni gathering in Minneapolis along with Dean Janet Callahan of the College of Engineering. Katie Buchalski, section president and fourth-year student majoring in environmental engineering, enjoyed the abundance of networking at the alumni gathering. “We all had something in common to talk about … Tech,” said Buchalski. “It was nice to learn what people do after college, and see how Tech forms a special bond between people and between generations.”

Michigan Tech alumna Dr. Kaitlyn Bunker received the SWE
Distinguished New Engineer Award at WE18. She earned a PhD, MS, and BS in Electrical Engineering at Michigan Tech, and is now a manager at the Rocky Island Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

The next day, at WE18, the students participated in professional development activities and presentations. Some volunteered at different events and participated in SWE-sponsored institutes. At the Celebrate SWE! Awards Banquet, Kaitlyn Bunker ’17 who earned a PhD in electrical engineering at Michigan Tech, received the SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award for “contributing valuable research and renewable energy solutions in the Caribbean, and to underserved communities; and for steadfast leadership at all levels of SWE.” Bunker is currently working at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

The Michigan Tech section received a Silver Collegiate SWE Mission Award, which recognizes a group that embody SWE core values.

Laura Schimmel volunteered at SWE’s outreach event for middle and high school girls, “Invent It. Build It.” Schimmel led a STEM activity for middle school girls–building “wind power plants” to lift a payload using cardboard, plastic bottles, straws, and tape. “I am taking a wind energy class at Tech right now,” says Schimmel, a fifth year double major in materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering. “I was thrilled to be able to share what I’ve learned and encourage the girls to pursue STEM in the future. There were hundreds of girls and countless creative solutions.”

Erica Coscarelli, a master’s student in environmental engineering, participated in the SWE Future Leaders (SWEFL) program. And along with Karina Eyre, Coscarelli went to the SWE Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI), a day-long leadership development event. Both programs, led by engineers working in industry and academia, help college students gain leadership skills. “Participating in the SWE Future Leaders (SWEFL) program has been extremely beneficial for me,” Coscarelli says. “As part of the program we have monthly conference calls and complete our tasks with a buddy. At WE18 we were able to meet in person. It was great putting faces to names.”

Hein moderated a panel discussion, “Obtaining your First Academic Job/Academic Job Search”. Panelists were from a range of different types of universities and community colleges.

Michigan Tech SWE section counselor, Alumna Britta Jost joined the Michigan Tech attendees at the Celebrate SWE! Awards Banquet. Jost earned a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering 2004 and a BS in Mathematical Sciences in 2002, both at Michigan Tech, and works now as engineering project team leader at Caterpillar, Inc. 

The SWE students raised travel funds through their annual SWE “Evening with Industry” event, held each fall just before the Michigan Tech Career Fair. ArcelorMittal, Black & Veatch, and John Deere all provided support for section travel to WE 18, as well.

The best part about WE18?

“Through the SWE18 Conference I was able to secure an interview, and received an internship offer with Boeing in Washington State. If you would have told me as a freshman that I would have an offer with Boeing, I would have thought you were crazy. But being in SWE has given me the courage and experience to pursue opportunities I would have never thought possible.”
-Allison Dorn, third year student, mechanical engineering

“SWE18 exposed me greatly to American culture. I am ecstatic that I got to meet awesome women in academia and was able to interact with them both intellectually and professionally. Overall, the conference was a rewarding experience!”
-Adedsyin Adedokun, master’s student, electrical engineering

“I loved getting to know my SWE chapter, SWE alums, and other chapters. I made a lot of new friends and we bonded as a group.”
-Noelle Eveland, fourth year student, chemical engineering

“I met so many people who were excited to see our chapter at the conference because they, or someone they were friends with, went to Tech. It made me feel proud of our school.”
-Emily Cromber, master’s student, computer engineering

“Being able to listen to and be inspired by amazing women who have been in our shoes, and who have gone on to have great careers and lives.”
-Lauren Sand, fourth year student, biomedical engineering

“Being surrounded by women who support each other as we break boundaries. My passion for engineering was mirrored in every woman I met.”
-Claire Langfoss, fourth year student, biomedical engineering

“Attending the amazing career fair with over 330 companies, and the Michigan Tech Alumni event in Minneapolis, where I met and networked with tons of Huskies.”
-Romana Carden, fourth year student, engineering management

“Attending a wide variety of sessions pertaining to professional development, leadership, and career management.”
-Melanie Zondag, fourth year student, geological engineering

“Engaging with a variety of inspirational women who have broken and continue to break boundaries.”
-Jessica Geroux, fifth year student, mechanical engineering

“It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by so many powerful and knowledgeable women. From the keynote to sessions, to the career fair; the ability to grow and prepare for the professional world was extremely rewarding.”
-Amber Ronsman, second year student, civil engineering

“My favorite part was the networking. I met some awesome ‘SWEsters’ from Wyoming as well as many company recruiters and professionals in systems engineering. I know these connections will assist me in the future, and the value is priceless.”
-Natalie Green, third year student, systems engineering

“Throughout the weekend I got to meet many other women in the field, both professionals and colleagues. It expanded my horizon and helped me to make valuable connections that will last a lifetime.”
-Mackenzie Brunet, third year student, engineering management

Katie Buchalski, Michigan Tech SWE section president

Michigan Tech’s New Academy for Engineering Education Leadership Inducts its First Two Members

“Leadership and Engineering Education—Thursday, Sept. 27. I invite you to join us as we learn from and celebrate the legacy of our two inaugural inductees to the Academy for Engineering Education Leadership. All are welcome.” Janet Callahan, Dean of Engineering

All are welcome at the inaugural induction of the Academy for Engineering Education Leadership, hosted by the College of Engineering. The induction and reception will take place today, Thursday, September 27, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the East Reading Room of the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  Sarah A. Rajala, PhD, and Karl A. Smith, PhD are the new academy’s first distinguished inductees. Both are outstanding Michigan Tech alumni.

Dr. Sarah Rajala is the James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering at Iowa State University and a Michigan Tech alumna. She is an internationally known leader, past president of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and past chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council. She earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Tech, and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.

Dr. Karl A. Smith is Cooperative Learning Professor in the School of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, at Purdue University. He is also the Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and Executive Co-Director of the STEM Education Center, Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Smith is a world expert in discipline-based engineering education research. He earned both a BS and an MS in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Tech, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

More events are offered in connection with the new Academy for Engineering Education Leadership. All events will take place this Thursday, September 27. Members of the campus community—faculty, staff and students—are all encouraged and welcome to attend.

Teaching at Tech: Breakfast Roundtable, “Learning Opportunities, Pitfalls, and Impacts on Students and the Institution,” with Dr. Karl Smith and Dr. Sarah Rajala. This event, for all who teach here on campus, takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Van Pelt and Opie Library East Reading Room. No registration needed, and breakfast is included. Each will each offer short position statements and then lead an active question and answer session over breakfast. Dr. Smith’s experience as a STEM education researcher will be balanced by Dr. Rajala’s experience as an administrator with an exceptional track record. View the event. | Print the flyer.

Teaching at Tech: STEM Education Research Workshop with Dr. Karl Smith. This event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Please register online. This session is designed both for those who have some experience and those just looking to get started. Dr. Smith brings over 30 years’ experience working with faculty to redesign courses to improve student learning, with a focus on cooperative learning, problem formulation, modeling, and knowledge engineering. View the event. | Print the flyer.

Register Online

“Leadership Lessons from the Antarctic,” presented by Dr. Sarah Rajala, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Fisher 135. This event is free and open to the public. One hundred and four years ago, under the leadership of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Endurance set sail for the Antarctic. Shackleton had established a potentially history-making goal: to be the first to walk across the continent of Antarctica. Even though he never led a crew of more than twenty-seven men, and failed to reach most of the goals he set, Shackleton is still recognized as one of the world’s greatest leaders. In this presentation, Dr. Rajala will explore what made Shackleton a great leader–and how his leadership traits have influenced her own career. View the event. | Print the flyer.

More About the Inductees

Sarah Rajala
Dr. Sarah A. Rajala, Inaugural Member, Michigan Tech Academy Engineering Education Leadership.

Dr. Sarah A. Rajala consistently breaks new ground for women in engineering and serves as a role model for young women. She is passionate about diversity of thought and culture, especially as it relates to the college environment. Among her many honors, she received the national Harriett B. Rigas Award honoring outstanding female faculty from the Education Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2015. Dr. Rajala was also named National Engineer of the Year by the American Association of Engineering Societies in 2016.

In addition to serving as Iowa State’s Dean of Engineering since 2013, Dr. Rajala served as dean and department chair in the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. At North Carolina State University College of Engineering, she was associate dean for research and graduate programs and associate dean for academic affairs.

Prior to moving into administrative positions, Dr. Rajala had a distinguished career as a professor and center director. She conducted research on the analysis and process of images and image sequences and on engineering educational assessment. She has authored and co-authored more than 100 refereed papers, and made contributions to 13 books. She is a fellow of ASEE, IEEE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Karl A. Smith
Dr. Karl A. Smith, Inaugural Member, Michigan Tech Academy Engineering Education Leadership.

Dr. Karl A. Smith has over 30 years of experience working with faculty to redesign their courses and programs to enhance student learning.

Dr. Smith adapted the cooperative learning model to engineering education, and in the past 15 years has focused on high-performance teamwork through his workshops and book, Teamwork and Project Management (McGraw-Hill Education, 2014).

His workshops on cooperative learning have helped thousands of faculty build knowledge, skills, and confidence for involving their students in more active, interactive, and cooperative learning both during class time and outside of class. The effects of the workshops are significant in terms of creating a sense of belonging and membership in a community, as well as much more engaged and deep learning.

Dr. Smith is a world expert in discipline-based engineering education research. His interests include building research and innovation capabilities in engineering education; faculty and graduate student professional development; the role of cooperation in learning and design; problem formulation, modeling, and knowledge engineering; and project and knowledge management.

He is the author of  eight books and hundreds of published articles on engineering education, cooperative learning and structured controversy, knowledge representation and expert systems, and teamwork.

For more information about the new Michigan Tech Academy for Engineering Education Leadership, contact the College of Engineering.


Engineering Alumni Activity Fall 2018

Timothy Bohrer
Timothy Bohrer

Michigan Tech alumnus Tim Bohrer was recently named to the Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. Bohrer is founder of Pac Advantage Consulting LLC. Among his accomplishments, Bohrer led the team that developed the packaging used for microwave popcorn. The story was covered in Converting Guide and in Packaging World. After finishing his undergrad work in chemical engineering at Michigan Tech University, Bohrer got his Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Brendan Ruppen
Brendan Ruppen

Gosling Czubak Engineering Sciences, Inc. hired Brendan Ruppen as staff engineer in the company’s environmental department. Ruppen earned a bachelor of science degree in Geological Engineering from Michigan Technological University, where he completed a groundwater engineering project assisting a local fish hatchery with remediation of production wells.

John O. Hallquist
John O. Hallquist

Michigan Tech alumnus John O. Hallquist was featured in the article “John O. Hallquist, Ph.D., Celebrated for Innovations in Software Development,” in Benzinga. Hallquist earned his master’s and PhD in mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics from Michigan Tech.

Noah Mundt
Noah Mundt

2005 Environmental Engineering Alumnus, Noah Mundt, was honored as one of the 40 under 40 by the Phoenix Business Journal. Occupation: Senior program manager. Employer: Siemens Industry Inc. Definition of success: Balance – Creating the perfect intersection between happiness, mindfulness and helpfulness for yourself, your family, and society. Making a living doing something you enjoy, are good at and helps others.

Don Njegovan
Don Njegovan

Vancouver-based Strongbow Exploration has appointed Michigan Tech alumnus Don Njegovan to its board of directors. Njegovan is currently Osisko Mining vice president for new business development, Njegovan holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mining engineering from Michigan Tech. The story was covered by Mining Weekly.

Jeff Helminski
Jeff Helminski

Michigan Tech alumnus Jeff Helminski was featured in the article “Transparency drives results for Helminski, Auxo Investment Partners,” in MiBiz. Helminski who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech, is managing partner at Auxo Investment Partners.

Jeff Thompson
Jeff Thompson

Michigan Tech mechanical engineering alumnus Jeff Thompson ’12 was featured in the article “Family ski-making business inspired by Keweenaw Peninsula,” in Crain’s Detroit Business. After graduating from Michigan Tech, Thompson joined the family business Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis in Boyne City, Michigan. Thompson is currently president of the company. Several of the company’s skis are named after locations in the Copper County including Ahmeek, Hubbell, Brockway and Medora.

Meredith Ballard LeBeau
Meredith Ballard LeBeau

Meredith Ballard LeBeau visited the White House as a representative from Calumet Electronics, one of five industry leaders chosen to represent the Association Connecting Electronics Industries, also known as IPC. Ballard LeBeau holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering, an MS in Environmental Engineering, a graduate certificate in Sustainability, and a PhD in Environmental Engineering.

Michigan Tech alumni Shawn and Cathy Smalley were featured in the article “The Buck is Back,” in NothernExpress.com. The Smalleys purchased and reopened the iconic Big Buck Brewery restaurant in Gaylord, Michigan. Shawn grew up in Plainwell, and Cathy is originally from Gaylord. They met as students at Michigan Tech (he has degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering, and she in environmental engineering). Although neither of them has any experience in the craft beer or restaurant industries, home brewing was an early hobby for them.

Kristen Mariuzza
Kristen Mariuzza

Michigan Tech alumna Kristen Mariuzza was featured in the article “Mining for opportunity,” in the Marquette Mining Journal. The story covered a recent “Ladies Night” event at the Eagle Mine in Marquette County. Mariuzza is general manager of the mine. Mariuzza, an engineer by trade, worked at the Empire Mine in Palmer while earning a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

Mike Raymond
Mike Raymond

Michigan Tech alumnus Mike Raymond was recently listed at #28 “Automotive Power Person” of the year by Motor Trend Magazine. Raymond is the chief engineer of the Motor Trend 2019 Truck of the Year the RAM 1500. He received his BS in civil engineering from Michigan Tech in 1981. Raymond took a great, smooth-riding truck and made it better. Powertrains include obligatory V-6, V-8, and diesel, but the big news is the debut of the eTorque 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

Julie Fream
Julie Fream

Julie Fream was conferred the rank of emerita by the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. Fream earned her bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Tech before earning a MBA from Harvard Business School. She has had a distinguished career in the auto industry and is now the president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association. During her eight years on the board, she served on the Leadership, Audit & Finance, Academic Affairs Committees, and was the vice chairwoman and chairwoman of the board, each for two years.

Terry Woychowski
Terry Woychowski

Terry Woychowski was was conferred the rank of emeritus by the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees. Woychowski earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from MTU before continuing on to a distinguished career with General Motors. He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and attended the Duke University’s Global Executive Development Program after Michigan Tech. Woychowski served as the board chairman from 2016-18 and recently delivered the commencement address at Michigan Tech’s midyear commencement.